Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013

I’m always amazed at how quickly Christmas comes…and then goes.  We talk ever-so-fondly about the Christmas we had last year…THAT Christmas!  It came with lots of memories, but it’s not a year we want to repeat.  We did make time for the fun things on our list this year, though.

First up was our annual FHE drive to see the lights and get a treat.  We tried some different neighborhoods this year and found plenty of delightful displays.  My personal favorite is a street in our stake, near the tree farm.  There was a house with red and green landscape lights shining onto snow-covered trees.  A gorgeous display that was topped only by a huge tree circled in red lights a little further down the road.  It has been a joy to see the giant pine tree in Evelyn Eliis’ yard all lit up every time we drive north.  And we all adored the 12-foot reindeers we saw at a house in Hyrum.  Add that to the houses surrounding ours, and I think we will all be sad when the lights are dimmed this year!

Gingerbread houses were a beautiful success this year.  I learned my lesson from a few years ago and made them small this time.  And I let Jared do the melted sugar glue.  Everyone got their own house, and we had plenty of candy – and lots of extra cookies - to go around.  I think we all got a little sugar buzz!



I take what I can get with this kid.



Toes, anyone??



We had tickets to attend the Christmas Concert at the Conference Center, but reluctantly decided to let someone else use them.  It has been my goal this year to spend more time as a family.  So we opted for the Westminster Bell Choir at the Tabernacle – something we could all attend together.  We met up with some good friends, enjoyed the concert, and then had a great time cleaning the sinks (TWO of them!) at Angie’s afterward.  I think the employees may have been glad to see us go!



Of course there were parties.  Several of them.  We had a breakfast and visit with Santa with our Down syndrome group.  Rachel and Caleb loved Santa.  Daniel did not!





Jared and I attended his work party, which was held at Rickenbacker’s Restaurant.  It was a pleasant evening with good food and some fun stories.  Jared was given a new (toy) car by his employers, as he (WE) had more car troubles this year than should be allowed in a single family!  We’re crossing our fingers that we’re past all that now.

We had a Christmas party with my side of the family on the Saturday before Christmas.  The kids LOVE being at Grandma’s house, and they love all the fun things she has for them to do. 




Daniel loved this cute bat he won as a Bingo prize.



Christmas carols around the piano.



Talent show.  Emily played – and Rachel and I sang with her – a song she composed recently.



Daniel leading us all in a rousing round of “Yay for ME!!!”



After this party we hurried back home for Jared’s extended family party.  We had to rush to make it (and ended up being 30 minutes late), but we got there.  The kids loved running around the school it was held at.  We had some good food and fun learning about the past.  Jared was one of two winners in the family trivia game, so we got to bring home an adorable snowman craft as a prize.


We rushed to get the neighbor gifts finished and delivered.  I made a nativity that looks like these (a picture borrowed from the internet)…

and a bit of homemade candy that is still making me happy to eat!


For Christmas Eve, we started a couple of new traditions.  First was our snowball flinging contest.  It seemed to be a natural thing for the boys, and the girls struggled.  A lot!  Needless to say, Jared was the winner.  By a long shot.  But Josh definitely held his own!







Our second new tradition is a Shepherd’s Dinner.  We ate shepherd food – homemade pitas, jerky, dried fruit, nuts, goat cheese, pomegranates – and sat on the floor in front of the fireplace with the lights dimmed.  We skipped the shepherd’s clothing for this year, but it’s going to have to make an appearance next year.  We talked about what that special night all those years ago must have been like and how it would have been to be there.  Then Jared read us the Nativity story.  It was a big hit with everyone.

After exchanging sibling gifts and putting on the new PJs, we all settled down for a long winter’s nap!



Merry Christmas!  (Stay tuned for our Christmas day post.)

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